Majority of organisations are ready for a no trade deal scenario, poll finds

London, 22 October 2020 – According to a poll by ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute and governance recruitment specialist The Core Partnership, the majority of companies are prepared for the UK to leave Europe with no trade deal in place. Some 71% of respondents, the majority of which hail from finance, commerce and industry, said that they are very prepared for a no trade deal scenario. Just 9% are not at all prepared and an additional 20% were unsure of how prepared their organisation was at the time the poll was carried out.

Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at The Chartered Governance Institute said:

“On a scale of one to ten, with one being not at all and ten being very, just 2% of respondents to our survey indicated that a no trade deal scenario would have a significant impact on their organisation by selecting option ten compared to 8% and 6% who selected options one and two respectively. It is clear that some companies expect to be adversely affected, however. When questioned about some of the biggest effects/changes that a no trade deal scenario would have, respondents were concerned about increased costs, the impact of a worsening economy, supply chain shortages and an adverse impact on the ability to attract top global talent.

“One respondent said that ‘Anything that impacts London’s status as a centre for business, trade and listing venue with high standards of governance and respect for rule of law and regulatory oversight will be negative for us. No deal turns it into one giant bargaining chip’. Another respondent voiced their opinion that they were ‘struggling to see any scenario which is beneficial to our customers; either costs will rise, or the environmental impact will rise as we trade more with distant countries rather than our neighbours’. Others, however, stated that they foresaw no impact, with one respondent saying that they expected some administrative issues but nothing substantive.”

When asked whether COVID-19 had impacted their company’s ability to deal with a no trade deal scenario and if it had how, one respondent said that it would prove challenging to move people to continental Europe should they need to, given travel restrictions and a reluctance to travel. Another commented that the lack of travel has impacted where consumers purchase products so any tariff implication of a no trade deal scenario could be amplified. However, most answers to this question indicated that COVID had not had a major impact, with one respondent commenting that it was ‘just another distraction to be managed’.

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Notes to Editors:

  1. The Chartered Governance Institute is the qualifying and membership body for governance with over 125 years’ experience of educating and supporting governance professionals. With a Royal Charter purpose of leading ‘effective and efficient governance and administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’, we provide professional development, guidance and thought leadership, and work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards.

    The Institute has divisions in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong/China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Southern Africa, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. The division headquartered in London (known as ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute) represents and supports members in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Crown Dependencies and associated territories, which include the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. Website: 
  2. The Core Partnership is a niche market recruitment consultancy working with Company Secretaries and their teams to advise on and resource their specialist interim and permanent manpower needs. With relevant professional backgrounds spanning back to the 1990s, The Core Partnership has a wealth of knowledge of the development and dimensions of the role of the Company Secretary. The team provides market advice on relevant qualifications and experience, conducts salary and benchmarking exercises and works throughout the UK and overseas recruiting at all levels to this specific discipline. Website: 
  3. This poll is based on answers from 77 respondents across a variety of sectors, principally finance, commerce and industry.

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